Cinderella Liberty (1973)

# 14859 IMDb R 

Cinderella Liberty (1973

taglineShe's 32. She drinks too much. She hustles pool. She's got a 10-year old mulatto son. She's got a different boyfriend every night. She's in trouble. And he's in love.

Director: Mark Rydell

Stars: James Caan, Eli Wallach, Burt Young, Bruno Kirby, Dabney Coleman

Drama, Romance (1h 57min)


Rated 6.8 after 1,681 votes on 13-Oct-18.

Nominated for OscarNominated for OscarNominated for Oscar
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations


A lonely Navy sailor falls in love with a hooker and becomes a surrogate father figure for her son during an extended liberty, due to his service records being lost.


Mark Rydell (director) James Caan Marsha Mason Eli Wallach Burt Young Bruno Kirby Allyn Ann McLerie

James Caan (John Baggs Jr.), Marsha Mason (Maggie Paul), Kirk Calloway (Doug), Eli Wallach (Lynn Forshay), Burt Young (Master at Arms), Bruno Kirby (Alcott (as Bruce Kirby Jr.)), Allyn Ann McLerie (Miss Watkins), Dabney Coleman (Executive Officer), Fred Sadoff (Dr. Osgood), Allan Arbus (Drunken Sailor), Jon Korkes (Dental Corpsman), Don Calfa (Lewis), Ted D'Arms (Cook), Sally Kirkland (Fleet Chick), Diane Schenker (Nurse), James Bigham (Seaman #1), Wayne Hudgins (Seaman #2), Rita Joelson Chidester (Wave), Knight Landesman (Yeoman), Paul Jackson (Sam), Chris F. Prebezac (Young Sailor), Sara Jackson (Woman), James De Closs (Sailor), Niles Brewster (Paymaster), Jonathan Estrin (Officer), John Kauffman (Sailor), Marty Augustine (Gutteral Mischief), David Proval (Sailor #1), Christopher Rydell (Boy Fishing), Jon Locke (Go-Go Club Owner (as Joe Locke)), Frank Griffin (Obstetrician (as Frank H. Griffin Jr.)), Clayton Corzatte (Doctor), Spike Africa (Hot Dog Beggar (uncredited)), Catherine M. Balzer (Examining Nurse (uncredited)), Glenn Buttkus (Sailor on the Ward (uncredited)), Joseph Candiotti (Officer of the Day (uncredited)), Glen Freeman (Marine Guard (uncredited)), Robert Emmet Lunney (Marine Guard (uncredited)), David Norfleet (Messboy (uncredited)), Frank O'Neal (Sailor (uncredited))...

From the same director


Darryl Ponicsan (screenplay), Darryl Ponicsan (novel)

Produced by

Mark Rydell (producer)



Granted there are some literary devices which are a tad far-fetched that simply have to be accepted to allow this story to work - for one, the cavalier way in which Baggs is treated while his papers are 'lost', and for so long. None the less, this is, in the end an affecting and inspiring tale. Perhaps one of the reasons for its dubious reception here is that in this extremely cynical and selfish age people have difficulty accepting a tale about someone who assumes so much grief in order to help people ("It makes me feel good," says Baggs, simply and disarmingly.) Perhaps the world would be a better place if we could all be more like the guileless Boatswain, played by James Caan in a good-guy departure from his usual tough guy parts.

Of particular note is the fine job Eli Wallach does with the minor part of Baggs' nemesis Forshay. It's a memorable moment when Baggs, asking Forshay, as he is drummed out of the service without benefits or pension, "Where are you going? Home?", hears Forshay reply "THIS was home." The combination of sadness, bitterness, and fear of the future that Wallach puts into these three words is testimony to his power as an actor.

A bit of judicious editing might have been called for, as the movie was a tad long (cutting Paul Williams' execrable songs would have been a good place to start), but none the less it's a feel-good movie that rises above its gritty setting.

Memorable quotes

John Baggs Jr.: Would you call yourself a "Champagne cocktail-sippin', cock-teasin', downtown barroom whore"?
Maggie Paul: [bursting into tears] Second generation!

9 total 


While walking the streets of Seattle in the movie, James Caan is approached by a panhandler who asks him for change. The man was an actual panhandler who didn't see the cameras on the street, and mistook Caan for a real sailor.

6 total 


Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations 
Academy Awards, USA • Golden Globes, USA • National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA • Writers Guild of America, USA

Other titles

Permiso de amor hacia medianoche (Argentina) • Отпуск *Пепеляшка* (Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)) • Licença Para Amar Até a Meia-Noite (Brazil) • Orlov til midnat (Denmark) • Permiso para amar hasta medianoche (Spain) • Iltaloma (Finland) • Permission d'aimer (France) • Cinderella, i garsona tis nyhtas (Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)) • Un grande amore da 50 dollari (Italy) • Przepustka dla marynarza (Poland) • O Passe da Meia-Noite (Portugal) • Sjömannen och gatflickan (Sweden) • Ugglan och sjömannen (Sweden) • Увольнение до полуночи (Soviet Union (Russian title)) • Külkedisi Özgürlügü (Turkey (Turkish title)) • Zapfenstreich (West Germany)



Argentina:16 / Belgium:KNT/ENA / Finland:K-16 / Netherlands:6 / Norway:16 / Sweden:15 / United Kingdom:X / United Kingdom:15 / United States:R / West Germany:18



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